2018 Colorado Vanlife Gathering

Hosted & written by Kathleen Morton of Tiny House, Tiny Footprint

The Colorado Vanlife Gathering has been pretty special to me, but this year was extra unique with a change of venue and price.

Photo courtesy of Ben Classen

The past two years I’ve hosted it in Pike National Forest, and while the location was amazing, it was a big impact to have so many vehicles and people in a public land space. I started looking for new venues and asking ranches if they had openings. Jane from Rock Meets Soil was able to connect me with Dallenbach Ranch in Basalt. As a way to spend more time with the outdoor crowd, the event was held the weekend after Outdoor Retailer in Denver. Even though it coincided with Carbondale Mountain Fair (July 27-29), it still drew close to 300 people.

On Friday, everyone was greeted with an assortment of goodies including a Chaco taco bracelet, ROVA magazine, RXBars and a bag of Kettle chips.

As people got settled into their spot, we began to gather in the center for a potluck meal. One of the best parts of a Vanlife Diaries gathering is that first night, sharing food, meeting new people and experiencing each other’s company. 

Photo courtesy of Matt Swartz

With the full moon rising, we ended the night with a tea ceremony led by Esther of Life Of Star. It wasn’t in the schedule but it might as well have been. Several gathered, sitting on the grass and watching the moon, sipping on tea and reading tarot cards.

The next morning, Jody let a yoga session by the creek. Friends from the first Colorado Vanlife Gathering David & Jennifer led an acro yoga workshop.

During all the morning activities, Erik of Carabiner Coffee was slinging his beans and Seven was offering tea and books out of his milk truck.

Photo courtesy of Matt Swartz

Later, Lisa of Vacay Vans hosted an intentional creative writing workshop and Mike of Van There led a drawing class.

The weather was perfect and several of us soaked in the creek. Others went on hikes and bike rides near the property. And of course, there was plenty of time to walk around and check out everyone’s rigs.


Right as we began to host the raffle, it started to rain. We huddled under a tent together as we gave away gear from LuminAID, One Eleven Watches, Topo Designs, Wilcor Outdoors, Helinox, Cotopaxi,  Mountain Standard, Carabiner Coffee, Gnarly Nomad, Be Kind Vibes, Lems Shoes, Scott James Jewelry, Wandrd, Smartwool, Coalatree, VSSL and Danner.

Through raffle proceeds, we raised $500 for the Basalt & Rural Fire Protection District.

After the raffle, several stayed to participate in a Vanlife Q&A, diving into topics ranging from solar and insulation to health care and working remotely.

As the night wound down, we played music and danced. Some brought hula hoops with lights and glow sticks to make it a visual experience.

The next morning, everyone woke up slow. Some went to yoga by the creek. Others started to say their goodbyes. We laid out some items to swap in the center that we might not need.

We’re grateful for all of you joining us at our third annual Colorado Vanlife Gathering! 

We can’t believe we even had a write up in the Aspen Times! Thank you all for raised $538 for The Trust for Public Lands. 

We hope to see you next year as long as the road takes you our way!

Photo courtesy of Ben Classen

We’re so grateful for Ben Classen for capturing portraits of as many people as he could at the gathering! Enjoy these beautiful and intimate shots!